Kumble, Ponting ones again face to face in IPL

Sydney, Apr 12: After India's controversial tour down under, cricket fans will feature another classic confrontation between Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and Indian Test captain Anil Kumble in the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning next week.

Three months after accusing Ponting's team of not playing in the spirit of cricket, Kumble will represent Bangalore Royal Challengers against Ponting's Kolkata Knight Riders in Bangalore on April 18. But this time Ponting will have former skipper Saurav Ganguly and fiery pace sensation Ishant Sharma, as his new team-mate. New South Wales (NSW) coach Matthew Mott, who will be John Buchanan's assistant in Kolkata, says the IPL will have plenty of ''by-play'' between batsman and bowler but will lack the negative headlines of last summer.

''Even in state cricket, if you play against someone and you have a bit of an on-field run-in and then if you get to play in the same side as that person, it's amazing how many times you actually get along quite well with them,'' Mott said.

''I think everyone's the same. The fact that it's such a new and exciting tournament, I think everyone will be going in there with very good spirits and blend in well together and take this tournament for what it is, a new and exciting venture.

''I think there will be a helluva lot of goodwill over there from everyone, players and coaches included, '' he added.

However, the 34-year-old Mott, admits ''the old days of having a go on the field and then having a beer have probably slightly changed''. But the show must go on.

''I think everyone respects that there has got to be a little bit of by-play,'' Mott said.

''That does make the game exciting and as long as it is kept within the spirit of the game, I think the crowd enjoys it as well.

There's nothing like a fast bowler coming down and giving a bit of a stare and getting the crowd involved,'' he said.

''I think everyone is keen for that to continue in the right spirit. Respect for your opponent and respect for the umpires is of paramount importance but that doesn't mean you can't have a bit of by-play out in the middle,'' he added.


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Story first published: Saturday, April 12, 2008, 11:42 [IST]
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